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How Can Joy Fuel Your Creativity?

How Can Joy Fuel Your Creativity?

As creatives, what we create originates from the depths of our hearts. Even God’s Word reminds us that our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts.

When we examine the best works of our hands, we often find that the most beautiful creations flow not from a place of stress or anxiety, but from a heart brimming with joy and hope. This joy, particularly when grounded in an abiding relationship with God, provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose that truly fuels the creative passions we are called to pursue. While art should undoubtedly express the full range of our emotions, art that consistently lacks joy and hope can suffer creatively, becoming darker and less inspiring.

Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that in our challenges and battles, the joy of the Lord is our strength.

For the Christ-centered creative, the joy we find in Jesus not only uplifts our spirits but also fortifies us, providing the strength and resilience needed to pursue our God-given creative passions. When our hearts are truly aligned with God and His joy, we find ourselves more open, free, generous, and willing to take creative risks as we build and create.

The Christian understands that joy is not merely an emotional state but an abiding truth born from the fruit oof the Spirit within us. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” Our joy and inspiration in the creative process rely on the Spirit of God living within us. Without the joy that comes from God’s Spirit, our creativity will ultimately lack vitality and depth, diminishing its desired impact.

When we create from a place of joy, our work not only uplifts and inspires others but becomes contagious, spreading positivity like a viral infection that transforms ordinary work into something extraordinary, as the Spirit of God inhabits it. However, when our hope diminishes and our joy wanes, our creative output mirrors that reality.

Albert Einstein recognized the playful nature that results from joy, stating, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” It’s in that playful spirit that we not only create smiles but also experience genuine joy in our hearts. Conversely, when that playful Spirit is absent, our creative endeavors can feel more like a burdensome process than a delight.

Therefore, let us stay connected and devoted to the Father, recognizing Him as the source of our joy. Let us remain in community with others who will encourage and support us. Such community is what the Orderd Chaos Club, when launched, will hopefully be. I would even recommend practicing gratitude, for training our hearts to be grateful helps us maintain a hopeful and joyful outlook on the life and the work we’ve been entrusted with.

The joy of the Lord is your strength today, Christ-centered creative. So go forth, be joyful, and create with joy.

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Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

This week, the blog lost its first subscriber.

If I’m going to be honest, that’s disappointing, especially since it hasn’t been in existence that very long.
When I checked in on the subscriber list and I saw that lonely number one next to the amount of unsubscribers, it made me feel a certain kind of way.

It was tapping into the people pleaser in me, the insecure me, and the version of me that wants to create something that every person that engages with it will passionately love.
The reality is, with every single creation, there’s essentially a handful of different responses. There’s variations of yes, variations of no. And then variations of wow. And of course, we’re going for the wows. But what happens when you get the no’s?
It definitely goes in my box that seems to continually be growing called failures. And here’s the truth that I think we all need to hold on to today.
Failures that remain in your box can be lessons that you learn from. You can choose to pick up the box and open it and educate yourself with its contents in the same way that people would use a textbook.
However, if failure becomes a coat or a badge of sorts, it becomes something that you walk around with, that you carry as a part of who you are. And that is an unhealthy place.
Failure should never be received as a scarlet letter or a personal identifier, but simply an event. And the beauty is we can learn from events. We can grow from events. We can’t learn and grow from parts of who we are.

 

So it’s important that we keep failure in an educational box and not in that wonderful little transparent part of our wallet that holds the ID. Failure is not who we are.

Don’t do the work of the enemy and receive failure as an internal reality. It is through internalizing failure that we end up doing the worst service of all to ourselves: Extinguishing hope.
Christ-centered creatives, we must recognize our hope is in Christ. That any failures are not personal, are not permanent, and are not pervasive. And if each of those are not true, failure is something that we can learn and recover from.

But the moment it becomes personal, we believe the failure to be who we are. The moment it becomes permanent, we believe this failure to be something that we can never change. And the moment it becomes pervasive. We believe that every aspect of our reality is a failure.

So no matter if the failure you’ve experienced is losing a subscriber, finding someone giving you a “no” to your creation, losing a huge client in your business, or finding that your business needs to close…

Remember this, it’s not personal. It doesn’t reflect on who you are at your core.
It’s not permanent. This is something that there is hope for change. Things that have ended can be reborn. You can grow beyond this.
And it’s not pervasive. This is verifiably a singular event.

As you continue to learn and grow, you can be sure that there will be other places where you fail. But don’t ever receive the lie that you are a failure.
And hey, an appropriate response to this could be to subscribe to the blog LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t help it with the shameless plug.

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Do You Have the Courage to Create or Just the Vision?

Do You Have the Courage to Create or Just the Vision?

Have you ever had a day that hit you so fast and so hard that you never really had time to slow down and feel the blow? Well today was one of those days for me. And as I write this, it is 10:30 in the evening, and I’m just arriving home after three hours of serving a sister in Christ who needed help moving into her new apartment.

It was challenging, but it was beautiful to see our gathering of Christ-centered creatives, known as Beats, Bars, and Bible, take a pause on our normal weekly Bible study and instead engage in Bible practice.

I’m not quite sure what the impetus is for today’s blog, but I know this. It’s easy for us creatives to be the idea guy or the creative gal who dreams it up, puts it on paper, and imagines the new world. In a lot of respects, those visionaries are what this world absolutely needs to be better than it is. But at the same time, we as creatives must also decide to actually create.

Tonight, we didn’t just think about and dream about serving and loving one another in the body of Christ. We created that act of service. We put the word of God into practice. Now, I wish I could say that I do that on a daily basis and consistently. But I know that I don’t. However, it is my aim to increasingly make that a reality as the Lord gives me recognition of the opportunities that I need to step into.

As Christians and as Christ-centered creatives, we have not only the vision of the divine moments that we often are called into, but we have the Spirit of God who, if we seek Him and ask Him for it, He will also give us the ingredients that truly help change the world. Not just vision, but courage and the commitment to create.

 

I’ll see you guys tomorrow.

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Are Your Creative Thoughts Captive to Christ?

Are Your Creative Thoughts Captive to Christ?

“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” – Martin Luther

Having a wild, creative nature is a beautiful thing. Consider icons like Frida Kahlo or Pablo Picasso. These individuals embodied a wildly creative mindset. But I wonder, to what degree did they have to develop leadership for that creativity to get the most out of it?

Imagine if Steve Jobs never focused on developing the iPod, or if Einstein never honed his thoughts on relativity. What if Frida never dedicated herself specifically to her craft with her brush?

I believe our most impactful creative works lie on the other side of our most intentional decisions regarding our creative thoughts. It is through this thought work—this warfare on the battlefield of our mind—that we achieve victory. Jesus reminds us that we can hold every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

This is the heart of meditation that I am drawn to—not necessarily the act of emptying your mind, but the act of deciding what your mind will dwell on. Many Eastern and New Age meditations talk about an emptiness of mind during meditation. However, as I explored these practices to quiet my mind, I realized that the actual work involves focusing my mind on specific things. Instead of dwelling on random thoughts, my mind focuses on the environment and being present, rather than on the thoughts that tend to occupy it.

This realization has shown me that meditation is not about emptiness, but about fullness. It’s about what your mind is filled with. What your mind is filled with in each moment determines your focus. That focus, that mental dwelling, is what you are giving your peace, your heart, and in many senses, your future.

Instead of trying to keep my mind empty for peace, I want to dwell, focus on, and stay filled with Christ and the thoughts He would have me meditate on. To chew on, to ruminate over, to remain abiding and dwelling in Him for all of my days.

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